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Earlier this week we concluded the Harvest Boss Kill Event on PC, that would reward the first player to kill the Heart of the Grove boss in HCSSF league with Alienware m17 gaming laptop, provided by Alienware. As you may know, Waggle was the first person to achieve this goal!
The second player who would win a laptop has been chosen by a random draw from 3502 characters who managed to kill the Harvest's ultimate boss across all Harvest leagues. Congratulations, Ithrial!
We've also prepared Stygian microtransaction packages for ten random players from any Harvest league who killed this boss within the first week after launch. Here they are:
With Path of Exile: Harvest, we introduced a new character, Oshabi, the warden of the Sacred Grove. Today we're going to talk about her development and where she fits into the Path of Exile world and narrative as a whole.
Before we get too deep into the nitty gritty of how and why Oshabi came about, be sure you don't mind having some things spoiled, as we are going to touch on a few story elements!
When we're developing a league and need to introduce a character, it's often the case that the art comes first. This was the case with Oshabi. We often create concept art for characters that may or may not ever see the light of day. If a character concept sounds like it might fit a league's theme, we'll get a model made and start figuring out who that character is. In Oshabi's case, her art came from concept art that we had created for an apparition microtransaction.
While creating the backstory and character for Oshabi, we ran through a lot of scenarios about who she was, where she came from, and what her role would be both mechanically and within Harvest's story. In an early iteration, she was an 'ethical' cannibal who wanted to grow monsters as a viable guilt-free foodstuff. An offshoot of that idea also had the Harvest monsters as so addictively delicious that she could enjoy nothing else, and contained many warnings for the player to never try it. I still like the idea of an 'ethical' cannibal character and have already tried to get it into at least one more league! Maybe one day...
Those of you who have made it to the end of the Harvest narrative know what happens. Those that don't want to be spoiled, you've been warned!
Oshabi, as warden of the Sacred Grove, oversees the garden in which most of the Harvest gameplay happens. She says the garden speaks to her, returning a gift she lost long ago. She is using the garden to cultivate and harness an energy she calls the Lifeforce. The problem is, the Lifeforce may just be Corruption by another name.
With each new league, there's going to be added complexity, even with the story. We have a few mystical forces at play in Path of Exile -- Corruption, Divinity, the transformative and alluring powers within the Atlas etc... And it's important to keep them feeling distinct. We as players may be aware of all these elements, but the characters have a far more limited viewpoint. Aligning Lifeforce with Corruption solved the issue of creating yet another mystical energy, while also working with what we know Corruption to be capable of doing: creating and mutating monsters, changing items and people, and tempting people into ruin.
Nowadays, it's a fairly safe assumption that every league will need some sort of pinnacle encounter -- something to work towards across the league that will provide the most difficult league-related content and most valuable league-related rewards. I don't remember exactly when it was that we decided Oshabi would become the end boss, but I do remember we spent a good long while trying to figure out how to turn the NPC into the villain.
Now, we've done leagues in the past where we've done this (Synthesis!), and we handled that by moving the burden of being the central point of interaction from Cavas to Zana. We wouldn't have that luxury this time, and would have to ensure that anything Oshabi provided in terms of league mechanics would be required before she could become the endgame encounter. And we decided that once that point was reached, she'd be gone. Not just temporarily, but permanently.
With Synthesis, Cavas was intended to be a villain. We wanted you to feel betrayed, and wanted you to understand that, though Cavas had his reasons, his cause was unjust. For Oshabi, we wanted you to feel pity. She had done some morally questionable things in the past, but she was ultimately the victim of temptation and Corruption. She was duped, lured in by Corruption's siren song, and would suffer indefinitely as a result.
Her introduction mentions that when she dies, she hopes the land lets her stay dead. Unfortunately, nothing stays dead in Wraeclast for long.
As we mentioned last week, we're currently working on the 3.11.1 update with improvements to Harvest. We're currently aiming to deploy this patch by the end of this working week. In the meantime, we've prepared a preview of its patch notes to give you an idea of what to expect.
Please note that the patch notes listed below are still subject to change prior to release of 3.11.1. This update will be deployed on consoles as soon as possible after its deployment on PC.
Harvest Crafting Improvements
Heart of the Grove Improvements
Since the announcement of the Harvest League, we've spotted several great pieces of fan art inspired by Harvest content! We've gathered them together in this news post to share with the wider community. Have a look!
Oshabi by Gunoo
Oshabi Fan Art and Harvest Wallpapers by QueenNie
Oshabi by bahuuba
Oshabi, Goddess of Harvest by kanterbow
May Your Harvest Be Plentiful by lawofdrawing
Chibi Oshabi by yunokiilie
Oshabi by Natilo
Harvest Theme Remix by eko1991
The Harvest Must Grow, Exile by maximaLz
We're always happy to see fan art submissions inspired by Path of Exile! If you'd like to share yours, just create a thread on our forum or post on our subreddit. Thank you for your talents!
Next week we plan to deploy Patch 3.11.1 and will preview its patch notes next week. In the meantime, we wanted to provide some general indication of what we're working on in the immediate future. While not all of these changes will be in next week's patch, we'll aim to get as many of them in as possible.
In case you missed them, we've already released several small updates with improvements to Harvest. You can find them here, here, here, here, here and here.
General Harvest Improvements
Improvements to Final Harvest Boss Fight
Vulkan BetaWe're continuing to steadily improve the Vulkan Renderer and would ideally like to get it out of Beta prior to our September launch. Please continue to send reports to us on the bug report forum and we will continue to fix them as soon as possible.
Thank you for all of your feedback since Harvest's launch. We really appreciate it.
Now that we've launched the Harvest expansion, we have completed two of our four expansions scheduled for this year. As many of you know, Harvest's expansion deployed a week later than our usual schedule and we want to outline what this delay means for the rest of the year.
Normally we operate on a 13-week development cycle, launching one expansion per season. These expansions always occur in March, June, September and December. Since Harvest required 14 weeks of development, this means that if we do not adjust our schedule, the September and December expansions would hit quite late in these months. For the September expansion, this would likely be fine but for the December expansion, it would be dangerously close to Christmas when many of our staff would be taking time off to spend with their families. Fewer developers would be on standby to help out if any issues arise.
Our plan to mitigate the potential impact of a late December launch is to launch our 3.12 September expansion just 12 weeks after the launch of Harvest. It's a much larger league than Harvest, so we had to begin work on this expansion about a month early. We believe we can successfully launch within this time frame. This would also mean that if everything goes well, our December expansion can also occur earlier and leave more room prior to the holiday period.
This is all still subject to change so don't book your time off until we can confirm the launch date more firmly, but we're hopefully looking at the middle of each launch month.
At some point this year, we're also hoping to make a Mac OS port available! The release of Vulkan on the PC version has been necessary for us to get the testing required, as Vulkan will be the renderer we use on Mac OS.
When we announced Path of Exile 2 last year, we mentioned that the earliest an early Beta could occur might be late 2020. This is definitely not happening this year, due to significant schedule delays due to the pandemic. We have been focusing on keeping our leagues coming out as close to on time as possible, and this does mean some delays for the sequel. We are looking forward to our next announcement about its upcoming content, and we'll keep piling on any technology improvements we can make into the existing Path of Exile client.
We are very excited about the year ahead. The difficulty of developing Harvest from home was immense but culminated in a league that we are very proud of. This makes us extremely optimistic for managing the year ahead and continuing to deliver on the high standard of Path of Exile expansions that you've come to expect.
Thank you so much for all of your support and patience while we've worked through the challenges of this year. We really appreciate it!
We've just introduced three new types of Stash Tab that hold items related to the Blight, Metamorph and Delirium leagues. Each tab costs 40 points and we've also released a limited-time bundle where you can grab all three stash tabs at a discounted total of 100 points. Check them out by pressing M in store.
These stash tabs each hold a higher quantity of items than regular stash tabs and some have convenience features (like the ability to combine Essences in the Essence Tab). They each function like regular Premium Stash Tabs, allowing you all the normal Premium Tab features like colouring the tabs and pricing your items to be listed on trade websites.
The Blight Stash TabThis stash tab holds up to 5,000 of each type of oil as well as 60 blighted maps. It also allows you to upgrade your oils from your stash tab and anoint your items from the designated crafting window.
The Metamorph Stash TabMetamorph Stash Tabs let you store 5,000 of each type of catalyst and up to 50 of each type of organ.
The Delirium Stash TabThe Delirium Stash Tab lets you store up to 5,000 Simulacrum Maps and 5,000 of each type of Orb of Delirium.
The Blight, Metamorph and Delirium BundleFor a limited time you can purchase these three stash tabs as a bundle which provides a 20 point discount or the equivalent of receiving one of these tabs at half price. The bundle is 100 points. Purchasing each tab individually would instead cost 120 points.
Our preference is to release these tabs as individual inexpensive tabs like existing Essence and Delve tabs. This allows players to pick whichever tabs are useful to them and gives us room to add to the tabs later as we continue to expand these leagues that are now a permanent part of Path of Exile. We will, of course, continue with updates to the Currency Tab with slots for new currency items that are released with future expansions.
These new tabs will eventually go on sale with normal stash tab discounts. They won't be featured in the stash tab sale happening this coming weekend but they will be featured in the sale that will occur three weeks after that. The bundle will not be further discounted, and will probably be removed in the future because it only makes sense to users who need exactly these three tabs.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support!
This weekend we launched Path of Exile: Harvest and reached a peak player concurrency of 231,130 players (97.5% of the record we set with Delirium at the height of the international lockdown). It was one of the smoothest launches we've had, with just a few small hotfixes to address minor problems.
Later this week on June 24 (PDT) we'll be launching Harvest to our console platforms! We've also included a few sneaky improvements for consoles which we are sure you'll be excited about. We'll announce this later this week.
We are extremely happy with the reception to Harvest's mechanic and crafting system! It's absolutely wonderful to see the community enjoying and engaging with something that was the result of so much hard work. We are still monitoring feedback to see if there are issues that need to be addressed.
If you've encountered any bugs, please report them in the bug reports forum. Our QA team monitors this forum closely and while they can't reply to everything, they do read everything and process it. We also recommend keeping an eye on our known issues list which we update frequently.
We also released the Angels and Demons Mystery Box which contains 38 new microtransactions, some of which can be combined to create the epic Pandemonium Set. Check out the trailer below or read more about the mystery box here.
Don't forget that we're in the middle of an event where players who defeat the final Harvest boss can go into the draw to win an Alienware Laptop! Find out more here. We are happy to announce that the first player to kill this boss in Harvest Hardcore Solo Self-Found is Waggle and they're the first to win one of these laptops. Congratulations!
You've faced the gods of Wraeclast, now embody their messengers with the Angels and Demons mystery box! With 38 new cosmetic effects from the Angelic and Demonic sets, this mystery box is sure to tempt you with rapturous delight. Many of these cosmetics can be combined to create a blended version of the two designs for even deeper character customisation.
Each Mystery Box costs 30 points and guarantees one microtransaction with value equal to or greater than that of the box. Many of these mystery box cosmetics can be combined to create a blended version of the two designs for even deeper character customisation. The possible outcomes from your mystery box range in value from 30 points all the way up to 320 points!
The average reward is worth 110 points, which is more than three times the cost of the box. Check out the full trailer to see what's available!
After purchasing some Angels and Demons Mystery Boxes, you can find them in the Consumable section of your microtransaction stash in-game waiting to be unwrapped.
Note that these Mystery Boxes have random outcomes. Some items are rarer than others (as listed above). You are guaranteed to get an item that is worth at least what you paid for it (30 points) and it's statistically more likely that you'll receive something of higher value.
Outside of microtransaction value, there are no guaranteed outcomes. Duplicate items are possible.
Many thanks to everyone who has purchased a Mystery Box at any point in time. They've become a huge driving force in our ability to continue to create frequent updates like Path of Exile: Harvest! Thank you so much for your continued support.
Path of Exile: Harvest launches soon! We're very excited to see you cultivating the Sacred Grove and unlocking its powerful crafting options. In this news post we've gathered all the information you'll need to know about what happens on launch day .
The realm goes down and patching begins at: Jun 19, 2020 10:00 AM (PDT)
The servers go live at: Jun 19, 2020 1:00 PM (PDT)
If you're looking for some extra character slots for your account for launch weekend, we're running a sale on these right now! Additionally, this is your last chance to get Thaumaturgy Mystery Boxes! It will leave the store when our next mystery box enters the store! Keep in mind that if you haven't taken advantage of it yet, it's still possible to get a free Thaumaturgy Mystery Box when you spend any amount of points in the store. NOTE: this is only possible once per account. Additional purchases do not grant additional mystery boxes. If you need some extra points, we recommend checking out the Harvest supporter packs.
In case you still haven't decided which build to play with, check out the Class subsections on the forum for suggestions from the community. Many of our community streamers are also providing build guides on YouTube.
If you're not able to play the game on launch day, be sure to check out our community streamers on Twitch! See you at launch!